Buyers Guide to Sunglasses for Mountain Biking
At EyeWearThese we always want you to buy the right product. If that be the best fashion accessory or the perfect sporting companion. You’re only able to do that with the right information. So, we have this buying guide to getting the perfect mountain bike sunglasses.
When choosing the perfect mountain bike sunglass many questions arise. So, taking inspiration from a great video from the guys at Global Mountain Bike Network, we have answers to a lot of questions. If you would like to watch that great video, it’s down the bottom of this page.
We are firm believers that you cannot go wrong if you stick to Oakley Sunglasses when it comes to cycling. Mountain Biking is no different. The lenses have superior technology, the frames are light and durable, and the options to switch between lenses is endless too.
Why Wear Sunglasses For Mountain Biking?
First off you might be wondering why you need eyewear while on your bike anyway. Not a bad questions really, especially if you ride in the dull summers of Britain. Or maybe you ride in the dark months in Scandinavia. Seems pretty pointless right?
Well, not so much. Yeah, it might be a little too bleak to wear lenses to block out the sun. But even those of us living in perpetual anticipation of blistering summer days benefit from sunglasses. Even just clear lenses to block out the debris or dust from entering your eye are beneficial.
The biggest advantage of mountain bike eyewear is the protection. Be that from the twigs and branches from trees or the dust clouds kicking up. These all have the potential to cause temporary discomfort or long term damage. Couple this with the UV radiation from the sun too, and just covering your eyes seems like the better option for your eye health.
Those who are lucky to have constant bright days for mountain biking will know the struggles of seeing the trail ahead at times. Roots from trees and bumps in the track ahead pop out unexpectedly. This is where eyewear comes in. Lenses offer the added contrast our eyes need to see the obstacles ahead to perform at a higher and safer level. But we will come to that later.
So, in short, you should wear sunglasses when mountain biking for protection against debris. You should also wear them for protection from UV rays and for a clearer view of the route ahead. Even a pair of clear lenses should block UV radiation.
What Lenses to look for in Mountain Bike Sunglasses
When it comes to lenses you should consider your location. Dark black lenses, by general rule of thumb are a no no. Just because this can obscure the route ahead. A lighter lens usually is the best to go for in a bright day. Then a clear lens for those duller days or under a shady tree canopy is a great second option.
If you know where you ride is constantly bright, then you can’t go wrong with Oakley Prizm Trail lenses . These are specifically and scientifically engineered for trail environments. The lens color and technology adds a level of contrast and colour enhancement unrivalled in the mountain bike world.
Furthermore, Oakley Prizm lenses work in the widest range of lighting conditions. This ensures that you can keep wearing the same lenses all day, even when the sun dips behind the clouds a couple of times. But most importantly, these give the best levels of optical experience throughout the day, no matter the lighting conditions. Providing it isn’t too bleak, that is.
But it isn’t just seeing through the lens that makes Oakley sunglasses perfect to wear when mountain biking. They have an incredible impact resistance level too. Yes, the lenses are bound without glue for better optics. They’re cut from the same material so the light aligns in the back of the eye perfectly too. But my word, can they protect your eyes from an impact.
Oakley test the materials past what American National Standards Institute deem reasonable. The lenses resist high velocity and high mass impacts to phenomenal levels. This can be seen in a video from the ANSI . Albeit, the quality of the video isn’t the best.
So we know that the lenses are great at protecting your eyes, and giving a great view while in the saddle. But, there is one more thing. Oakley products offer the ability to swap in and out the lenses. So you can adapt to different conditions perfectly. Even if you use the same piece of eyewear for different sports, or environments. If you’re a Roadie and a Mountain Biker, you can swap between Prizm Trial lenses and Prizm Road lenses. Nifty right?
When it comes to choosing the size of the frame you want to take into consideration many things. Protection, comfort, ventilation and helmet compatibility are all part of the selection process. Larger the frame, the more protection from the sun and debris, however there's more chance of overheating/fogging or the frame interfering with your helmet.
First think of what you do the most. Are you a trial rider, or are you getting your fix on downhill rides and jumps? A nice rule of thumb to help the process is to think bigger for the more extreme your rides are. If you know when you ride there's a lot of debris, then go bigger. Going down hill? Bigger. Jumps? Bigger. It is all about protection here. Just keep in mind your own head size though, keep it in relation.
Trying on your eyewear with your helmet is a good idea. Make sure you’re sunglasses for mountain biking and helmet combo are comfortable. If it isn’t comfy before you start riding, you’ve no chance when you start. Ensuring the brow of the eyewear isn’t touching the brim of your helmet is a great start. This can be super annoying once riding and moving your head around.
Next to check is the length of the temples . If the temples are too long they may interfere with the helmet causing irritation and less protection due to a poor fit. However, most Oakley products have adjustable temples. Therefore, you get that personalized fit with your sunglasses.
Usually, a larger frame will be more likely to fog. This is because there is less air flow from a larger surface area. Oakley, however combat this is very clever ways, way past adding a coating to the lens like many other manufacturers. This is something to keep in mind if you decide to go away from the Oakley branded eyewear.
Now we will look at three different sizes. There’s the larger size in the form of the Oakley Flight Jacket . Then, there is the medium size and ever popular Oakley Jawbreaker sunglasses . Then finally a smaller size frame with the stylish Oakley Radar EV Path sunglasses . All amazing in their own right, but which size relates more to you?
Small Frame Sunglasses for Mountain Biking
Smaller frames are great for smaller heads. After all, you don’t want your face consumed by lens and frame with a sunglass that doesn’t fit properly. We say the Oakley Radar EV Path is one of the best in class for smaller Mountain Bike sunglasses.
The fit wraps close to the eye offering top protection from the sun and from that pesky debris. As the size is smaller, less of the face is covered. Therefore in warmer conditions a smaller frame like the Radar EV Path maybe cooler and fogging is less common. The ventilation features aid this further.
The Radar EV Path Sunglasses have vents at the top of the lens. This aims to allow moisture and air to rise out the top, and cooler air to circulate. Therefore, creating a less foggy lens. After all, you want your vision aided, not obscured further by moisture on the lens.
Even though the frame is smaller, it doesn’t mean that the Oakley Radar EV Path has any less tech. Like all Oakley sunglasses the frame has a three point fit. Keeping those sunglasses aligned perfectly in tandem with the unobtainium nose pads and ear stocks. Pair that with the Prizm lens, and these are a force to be reckoned with.
The Radar EV Path allows you to swap lenses. This is super easy to do, that you can pull up your bike and sort it at any point. This is great for switching between clear lenses and Prizm lenses. Or, even from sport to sport, for example, these sunglasses are very popular for Cricket too!
Medium Frame Sunglasses for Mountain Biking
One of the most popular models, especially for cycling of all disciplines, is the Oakley Jawbreaker . The fit covers the eyes and wraps perfectly for that protection we keep talking about. This larger lens and bigger wrap allows for a stronger peripheral view. This is great for spatial awareness, and great for seeing competitors if you race.
A larger frame can cause more fogging. Especially because these have a full rim design. This can hinder air flow and encourage the fog process. However, Oakley strategically place vents in the top and bottom of the lenses to encourage airflow and prevent fogging.
The full rim is a great feature to prolong the life of the lens and the sunglasses overall. The full rim helps to protect the lens from taking a beating in places that can scratch or on big impacts, crack the lens. The durability of the light O-Matter frame is phenomenal and will also help stop dust kicking up under the lens and into your eye.
As we always mention with Oakley products, the tech is in abundance here. An Unobtainium nose pad and ear stocks aid grip. And so does the Three-Point fit , which also aligns the lenses to give a perfect optical alignment, even on the bumpiest of trails. Those temples are adjustable in length too!
The lenses, again, are interchangeable. If anything, this is a smoother process with the Jawbreaker than with the Oakley Radar EV Path . Allowing lightening quick changes with less fiddling. The only downside we would say, is the Jawbreaker doesn’t look as great off the bike like the EV Path does in our opinion.
Large Frame Sunglasses for Mountain Biking
Larger frames offer more protection, more lens and in this case, more tech. We say that the Oakley Flight Jacket is one of the best in class currently for all types of cycling. They’re specifically engineered for running and cycling, so why wouldn’t we class these as some of the best on the market right now?
The Flight Jacket is big, so if you have a smaller head, maybe these aren’t for you. You might want to double check that these don’t interfere with your helmet too. Oakley have ensured that theFlight Jacket Sunglasses are compatible with all Oakley helmets.
The temples shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to helmet compatibility as they are adjustable in length. Furthermore, they’re interchangeable too, so you can get that fully personalized look. All without a clash with your helmet. Oakley also have designed a temple that fits over your helmet strap effortlessly too for that unwritten cycling rule. How thoughtful.
Now, looking at Oakley Flight Jacket sunglasses you cannot miss the lens. One, it is big, so you’re going to be protected. But, more than that, they look almost upside down. The rim sits on the bottom of the lens, leaving an exposed upper brow design. This is to allow a larger field of view when cycling, and we think is genius.
Now, the genius doesn’t stop there. Proudly sitting pretty in the design is a lot of the usual Oakley Technology. But, first seen on these sunglasses, is the Advancer Technology . This little toggle on the bridge pulls the frame away from the face about 5mm. This is enough to allow air flow up and under the Flight Jacket . Plus, it allows sweat to run down your face rather than on the lens, thus combatting fogging.
These sunglasses give you the protection and the tech to be the perfect Mountain Biking sunglass. However these sunglasses don’t stop there. In fact, they have been seen on the streets. The Flight Jacket has a place in the active wear trend of recent times. Even being seen on fashion catwalks. So if they fit your style off the bike too, you might be the most fashionable Mountain Biker out there.
The Round Up
We hope this guide gives you some more insight into what to look for when choosing your sunglasses for mountain biking. At EyeWearThese, we are authorized stockists of Oakley Sunglasses . So all our Sunglasses for Mountain Biking are 100% genuine and come with a manufacturer's warranty. Take advantage of our VIP membership and get your Oakley sunglasses at EyeWearThese online. The video we mentioned at the start is below which shows these sunglasses in action.